Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A First

When the fruits of a garden come in you've got to do something with it!  Today my friend Caroline and I helped Deborah make six pints of Salsa. It was really fun!

Monday, July 30, 2012


When we arrived home Sunday afternoon we saw the Weeks Flooring truck in our driveway. I was surprised but glad it was just because they finished early Saturday to enjoy the day and complete the job on Sunday. I was so excited to see how they looked.

They wove the old floor with the new

Staining will happen next week. What about a pretty hall rug?

Petals is enjoying being back home and the quiet of this Monday morning.

Wednesday the cabinets will be installed!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sitting River

It was a beautiful day in Hillsville, Va. Our choice of activities included tubing down the river or taking the Kuby to the river along with lunch, chairs and swim suits. The pictures tell it all.

We all piled in the Kuby and traveled down a very rocky trail to the river.

After lunch we sat in the water enjoying the cool water

Petals and Bonnie got along well and enjoyed the river

Marshall didn't think he was going to get in the water (reason for the jeans) but seeing us have so much fun he said what the heck!
Petals was very entertaining as her inner "water" dog came out!

Favorite Get Away

M and I have some wonderful friends who have a cabin in Hillsville, Va. It truly is my favorite weekend get away. It's about an hour and a half from home and in the middle of nowhere. Yet, it overlooks a fabulous valley. When we first began coming up here I dreamed of a place just like it. Little did I know that our next house would have similar features. Not the valley but the woods and peacefulness it brings.

We are here this weekend. Soaking up the quiet and good fellowship, unlike what we would be hearing  in MarDo with the hardwoods being installed. It will be fun to go home Sunday with pre-stained floors.

These pictures I captured this morning with my new camera.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day Eight of Renovations

I've figured out how to fix coffee every morning and we have a stash of diet cokes in the refrigerator but dinner out is usually in order. It's interesting living in two rooms w/o a kitchen. I'm sure we will get more creative as the days go by. Here's my renovation checklist:

  1. Unload all kitchen cabinets
  2. Remove kitchen cabinets
  3. Kitchen Floor removed
  4. Pass through enlarged
  5. Pendant light selected
  6. Pantry torn out
  7. Furniture and appliances moved
  8. Electrical reworked
  9. Paint colors selected, paint purchased
  10. Drywall repaired
  11. Kitchen painted
  12. Carpet torn out
  13. Hardwoods delivered
  14. Hardwoods installed
  15. Cabinets delivered
  16. Electrical completed
  17. Dishwasher purchased
  18. Faucet purchased
  19. Disposal purchased
  20. Granite measured
  21. Floors stained
  22. Granite installed
  23. Appliances placed
  24. Kitchen organized
  25. House cleaned and put back together!
Painted walls. Chose a basic white to keep it simple.

Truck delivering hardwoods

Goodbye nasty, dirty carpet!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Too Many

It seems attending funerals and visiting funeral homes has become a frequent outing. Mom's was May 5 and then a good friend Donna's mother died soon after school was over. In June we had friends from Memphis stop by on the way to the beach and the night before they left Jill's mom died unexpectedly. June 23 our family attended a former Caldwell student's funeral, Justin who was only 27. At the end of June, a Caldwell mom, Alicia 41 died of lung cancer, leaving husband and four young children. July 7, a good friend and neighbor Ray, buried his mother. Today a co-worker Lisa buried her husband after a long bout with cancer, he was 60. His only son Adam is 15 years old. Grief, loss and sadness surrounds us. It doesn't even have to be a death but estranged relationships or just fear of the unknown. 

It's easy for this to take me to a place of fear and deep sadness. Yet, if this was all there was to life I'm sure I would live in a place of hopelessness. Thankfully, He is preparing a place for us where whatever we imagine is the best thing on this earth we will find in Heaven to be so much better. I look forward to the day when there is no pain, sickness, and death. Until that day I will keep walking this path of life and supporting my friends.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Angie's List

A big piece of this kitchen puzzle is two fold, having the right people in place and staying within budget. When I put my calendar together I knew who I wanted for my painter, Jeremiah Johnson's painting company. He refinished our deck last year; he is dependable and reasonable. He came by for a quote and I shared the dates I NEEDED him and he apologetically announced he was on vacation that whole week. When you are doing this kind of project certain things have to happen in order and painting is the next piece. I can paint and have painted many rooms in my lifetime but we also need drywall repair and we are removing the popcorn ceiling. I removed the popcorn ceiling in the bathroom project but was so so satisfied with my work and want this to look professional. I even wanted them to paint the sections not covered by the cabinets.

So, why Angie's List? Looking for a competent painter was of high priority and with my trip out west I knew his selection before I left was high priority. I had heard of Angie's List and decided to give it a try. I came across the painter who is here this morning. He had great reviews. I think he will do a great job and can do a lot more than just paint and drywall. His trailer says Handyman Unlimited, and his tag line is: "Your Honey-Do-List" Specialist. Very appealing!

Drywall repair

Popcorn coming down

Monday, July 23, 2012

Kitchen Renovation Con't...

Saturday was a big day with the pantry being removed and our pass through enlarged. Dwayne and his helper came at 9 and were out by 12:30. They did a great job for a reasonable price!

      See the difference?

The new view will really allow us to see what's happening in the living room
Last night Marshall and I moved the small furniture out of the living room and all my china and crystal from the corner cupboard, pie safe and secretary. My house is a disaster. The movers came early this morning to move furniture. I knew Marshall and I couldn't do it and most of our friends are too old to help so I found this guy when we he delivered our leather sofa we bought at Consignment One. We are having hardwoods put in the kitchen and throughout the living room and hall. Along with the movers the electricians came to begin work on the kitchen. Should be an exciting day at MarDo.

This will be our living arrangements for a while!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

New Job Title

When we decided to have the kitchen redone and we got our estimate I knew I wanted to take on the challenge of being the GC or General Contractor. This person actually oversees the entire project from hiring/firing to the completed job.
  • electrician
  • plumber
  • flooring 
  • painting
  • installation of cabinets
  • installation of countertops
  • selecting and purchasing sink, faucet, light fixtures, appliances
  • overseeing the demolition of walls and opening of pass throughs
I would not have taken on this task if it weren't for having lived through the guest bathroom remodeling and the desire to save about $13,000. I experienced many mistakes but worked with a lot of great people! Thankfully, with this list and the support of my family I decided to take on the challenge. 

One of the guys who is here this morning is Dwayne who owns a flooring business. When we did the bathroom and I discovered that you can't put tile on particle board I called my friend Karen who works for a contractor and she gave me his name. He is great. In fact I called him to see if he could widen our kitchen pass through. Thankfully, I decided to have him take up the initial flooring and tear out the pantry too. As he removed the floor he discovered a second layer of linoleum and plywood that had to come out for it to accommodate the new wood floor that's going down on Thursday. Oh boy, I thought it would be simple removing the flooring. 

If there is one thing I have learned, nothing is simple and always expect to run into possible problems. Not my typical frame of mind but definitely a practical one. 

What's kinda funny is I think my dad would have been proud!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Kitchen Tear out

At nine this morning the tear out began and by 11:30am it was finished. As you look at this picture two things will be changing Saturday morning, one the window will be opened up and the pantry with be torn out to prepare it for the refrigerator.

The nice thing about this picture below is seeing how much light will be flowing in the kitchen and how you can see the bird feeders from the doorway. We have a lot to get done before the Aug 1 when the new cabinets come.


There is never a dull moment in my life and I have to say I like it this way, for the most part. Check with me in a week to see how I'm doing. Today begins my kitchen remodel and a month from today we should be happily enjoying it!?

If you've ever been to our home the kitchen is the least attractive room. The cabinets are quite outdated and uneven, the counter tops have conveniently separated from each other and no longer resist simple stains, and the list goes on.Though, I don't want to be too critical because it has functioned quite well for the past 3.5 years. We have cooked many meals in its simple state, hosted fun showers, dinner parties, stay-cations, and many celebrations. BUT, today begins a monthlong redo!

To start I wanted to share my final pictures of the kitchen before the tear out begins at 9am.

Pass through will be enlarged, pantry removed and no top cabinets

Stove will be moved over to the left 
Dishwasher relocated

Say goodbye to the window ruffle
Refrig relocated

This will look different with shutters and enlarged
Serving as the General Contractor is challenging but I'm hopeful I have chosen good people to do my work! I will keep you posted as we learn to live without a kitchen sink and counters! Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Moving On

Today we leave the conference in Scottsdale and head to other unfamiliar parts. We are leaving a few hours early so we can stop by a little town that everyone who has been to these parts said we need to visit... Sedona, Arizona. Our final destination today is Williams, Arizona where we will stay in the Grand Canyon Hotel and take the train early in the morning to the Grand Canyon. 

When people ask the question "Where is the place in the world you would love to go?" I have to say the Grand Canyon. Not sure after I see it tomorrow what will be next but very excited about this adventure. Plan on lots of pictures.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fiesta Continues

After a long day inside attending workshops I was ready to be outside, despite the temperature. I left my workshop and met Marshall in the room and then for a quick swim/float. We then dressed for an outdoor Latin-inspired Salsa Street Fair for dinner. We were greeted by this cute fella and had to get a picture with him.

Marshall was convinced that we needed one of these fans with a mist sprayer for our deck; it was quite the ticket for combating the heat!

 The table decoration was cute and simple!

This was the view as we headed back to our room.

We are having a really nice time. Today is full of conference and meetings for me and Marshall will be busy answering emails and phone calls.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Trip

Thanks to Caldwell, Marshall and I are in Arizona where I will be attending a conference for a software I use to help guide and direct my high school students. 

We arose very early Monday morning (3am) for a flight at 5:15. It was fun to be with Marshall on a trip. I've taken quite a few trips alone but so glad to have him along this time. 

After we got in our room (9:30am) we ventured out to catch a bite to eat, hard to know what to eat breakfast or lunch. So I got a Farmer's Market Egg Wrap with veggies and Marshall had a BLT with Turkey and fries.

This was the view right before we turned into our room.

I spent the afternoon in the Hot 111 heat by the pool. It was very nice but you couldn't stay out of the water long. The water was also warm but definitely helped.

My conference begins today with two all day sessions. I'm sure it will be informational and useful but have to get into the "work" mode. I hope to update later.